Another Holder roars into Fiddler's Green

 
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Leonard Keller
  Medal of Honor Holder "Len" Keller, who died in a motorcycle accident on 18 October, 2009, in Pensacola, Florida. In a sad coincidence, in my 18 October Medal of Honor post, I made the following observation: In the first 50 years of the Medal's history - 98 percent went to living recipients. There are many reasons for this, not least among them was that the whole concept of medals like this was new, and it just didn't occur to people to award them to dead men. When I graduated from high school, there were 293 living recipients of the Medal. In July 2008, the Census Bureau reported the population of the United States to be 304,059,724 people. Only 95 of them hold the Medal of Honor.     Sigh.  Now there are only 94.  From the Pensacola News Journal:
A Milton resident who was a Medal of Honor recipient died Sunday in a motorcycle crash as he was leaving a veterans club.
Leonard "Len" Keller, 62, died at Sacred Heart Hospital after the accident outside the Fleet Reserve Association in Milton.
Because of when I started the Medal of Honor Moments series over at my blog, we haven't reached Sergeant Keller's Medal yet.  So, we'll do it today, and again, as a part of the 2 May Medal of Honor moments when we're close to wrapping up 365 days of the Medal.
KELLER, LEONARD B.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. place and date: Ap Bac Zone, Republic of Vietnam, 2 May 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 25 February 1947, Rockford, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sweeping through an area where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier, Sgt. Keller's unit suddenly came under Intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a number of enemy bunkers and numerous snipers in nearby trees. Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing 1 Viet Cong who attempted to escape. Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire. Armed with a light machine gun, Sgt. Keller and his comrade began a systematic assault on the enemy bunkers. While Sgt. Keller neutralized the fire from the first bunker with his machine gun, the other soldier threw in a hand grenade killing its occupant. Then he and the other soldier charged a second bunker, killing its occupant. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. Again, with utter disregard for the fire directed to them, the 2 men charged, killing the enemy within. Continuing their attack, Sgt. Keller and his comrade assaulted 4 more bunkers, killing the enemy within. During their furious assault, Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. The ferocity of their assault had carried the soldiers beyond the line of bunkers into the treeline, forcing snipers to flee. The 2 men gave immediate chase, driving the enemy away from the friendly unit. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sgt. Keller returned to the platoon to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The 2-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy dead, and prevented further friendly casualties. Sgt. Keller's selfless heroism and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.  
From that picture of him, taken in June of this year at Medal holder John Finn's 100th birthday  - I rather suspect he was something of a character.  At Castle Argghhh! we have a tradition of "dancing" in certain posts.  Memorial posts, which I will continue here.  Now is the time at the Burn Pit when we dance: In Memoriam of Sergeant Leonard Keller, Medal of Honor.  He just skidded his bike into the bar at Fiddler's Green.... If you read the citation, you might notice there is an un-named soldier who fought the exact same fight Len Keller did.  To answer the question unasked - that soldier, Specialist Raymond Wright was also awarded a Medal of Honor:
WRIGHT, RAYMOND R.
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 3d Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: Ap Bac Zone, Republic of Vietnam, 2 May 1967. Entered service at: Moriah, N.Y. Born: 5 December 1945, Moriah, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While serving as a rifleman with Company A, Sp4c. Wright distinguished himself during a combat patrol in an area where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier. Sp4c. Wright's unit suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from an enemy bunker system protected by numerous snipers in nearby trees. Despite the heavy enemy fire, Sp4c. Wright and another soldier leaped to the top of a dike to assault the position. Armed with a rifle and several grenades, he and his comrade exposed themselves to intense fire from the bunkers as they charged the nearest one. Sp4c. Wright raced to the bunker, threw in a grenade, killing its occupant. The 2 soldiers then ran through a hail of fire to the second bunker. While his comrade covered him with his machinegun, Sp4c. Wright charged the bunker and succeeded in killing its occupant with a grenade. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. While his comrade again covered him with machinegun fire, Sp4c. Wright charged in and killed the enemy rifleman with a grenade. The 2 soldiers worked their way through the remaining bunkers, knocking out 4 of them. Throughout their furious assault, Sp4c. Wright and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire from the treeline as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. Overcoming stubborn resistance from the bunker system, the men advanced into the treeline forcing the snipers to retreat, giving immediate chase, and driving the enemy away from the friendly unit so that it advanced across the open area without further casualty. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sp4c. Wright returned to his unit to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. This 2-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy casualties, and averted further friendly casualties. Sp4c. Wright's extraordinary heroism, courage, and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy. His acts were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.
(John Donovan is a Legionnaire with the Department of Kansas with service in the U.S. Army. He blogs at his own website The Castle Argghhh!)
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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.